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Railroad safety regulation progressing in federal and state legislative bodies

A train runs along the track in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 16, 2023.
Oliver Morrison
90.5 WESA
A train runs along the track in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 16, 2023.

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

The jury in the synagogue shooting trial has reached two decisions: that Robert Bowers is guilty of shooting and killing 11 Jewish worshippers on October 27, 2018; and that Bowers is eligible for the death penalty. The shooting affected three congregations that worshiped in the space: Dor Hadash, New Light and Tree of Life. Julia Zenkevich has been covering the trial for WESA, and tells us about the next phase of the trial, which begins Monday. (0:00 -5:14)

In early February, a 149-car Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Eleven of those cars that jumped the tracks were carrying toxic chemicals. Officials decided to intentionally release vinyl chloride, a toxic flammable gas, from five leaking tank cars and burn it off to avoid a possible explosion. Since then, bills have been introduced in the US Senate and in state legislatures in Pennsylvania and Ohio to place stricter regulations on the rail industry.

We discuss the legislation with State Representative Rob Matzie (D-Beaver County), co-sponsor of House Bill 1028; and Topher Sanders, investigative reporter covering railroad safety at ProPublica. (5:18 - 22:30)

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Friday at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here for wherever you get your podcasts. 

Addison is a Junior at Point Park University, majoring in Broadcast Reporting. She is the News Director for Point Park's campus station, U-View Television and reports on the show Daybreak. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her cat, Soup.
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